Friday, 8 April 2011

Wee things big

I got a new toy - a USB microscope. It's not quite as effective as a proper microscope but it's fun to play around with, wasn't too expensive and is easy to use. Plug it into the computer, load a bit of software and muck around. I'm not entirely sure why I got it.

So now I need something to do with it. I think I might have a monthly competition on the Facebook page - name the mineral/fossil win a prize. Actually, monthly sounds like a lot of work. Perhaps annual.

When I stumbled into studying geology I was surprised at just how big a field it was. Maths, physics, chemistry, statistics, biology, etc. A large chunk of time was spent staring down a microscope at thin sections of minerals, learning to identify crystal shapes, growth patterns, associations and so on. I got there, eventually, but I never learned to love the microscope. Maybe that will change.

As you can see, I've had a play around with it now and these images are the results of two or three minutes fiddling. Haven't had to tinker with the images, though, and I'm pretty impressed with the quality given the price. Amber with bugs seemed the obvious choice and it looks like it's going to be quite useful for that alone.

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